AAA: Fresno defeated Portland 9-4
After his disappointing autumn in Hawaii, it's nice to see Schierholtz off to a strong start in his first PCL game. He also had an outfield assist. I believe Santos led Giants farmhands a year ago in HRs. He's at least tied for the lead now. Lewis stole second and third base in the 2nd inning but then was picked off first base in the 4th inning. For the Padres' affiliate, the veteran, 29-year-old Laforest is off to a strong start in 2007.
It appears Palmer did not quite have his normal command tonight, with just 46 of 74 pitches for strikes, but he was still efficient enough averaging just below 15 pitches per inning. A strong 2007 debut for Misch.
AA: Connecticut at Portland postponed due to snow
(a foot of snow; no makeup date yet announced)
A+: San Jose defeated Stockton 7-0
A nice OBP game for Richardson, with at least one opportunity to show his speed. Maroul does have power, as two XBH demonstrates. The question is whether he can hit for enough AVG (and/or draw enough walks), which he at least did in tonight's 2007 opener. A nice game for Gunther, batting at the bottom of the order, as he drew the catching responsibilities (over Witter and Sandoval) on opening night. Pennington was the A's top draft choice a couple years ago, selected ahead of Travis Buck. He had a horrible year last year and is now repeating high-A.
A couple years ago, Martinez and Wilding were taken in back-to-back rounds. Martinez became the ace of the Augusta staff last year, while Wilding one of their better relievers by the end of the season. Both had strong games tonight, although in a bit different fashion. Martinez got the ground ball outs (6/3 GO/FO); Wilding got the flyball outs (1/5 GO/FO). They both had their share of strikeouts as well.
A-: Augusta defeated Rome 3-1
Graham is off to a stronger start with the bat than last year. Statistically, this may be his best game as a pro. Both steals came in the first inning. Gutierrez was hitting close to .400 as a part-time catcher last summer in the NWL until an injury ended his season in late July. McBryde has upside, but he will have to cut down on his strikeout rate. He starts the 2007 season with a hat trick.
This seems like a typical Cowart start, with fewer than 2 ER and a WHIP below 1.00 (since the HB does not count). Shaver had 3 perfect IP and was better tonight at inducing the ground ball outs (5/1 GO/FO) than was Cowart (6/5 GO/FO).